Purse-snatcher charged in connection with 71-year-old's murder in east Harris County, sheriff says

Brooke Taylor Image
Thursday, October 7, 2021
Man was out on 2 bonds when deadly purse-snatching happened
Andrew Williams, 40, had been out on bond for a previous murder charge during the time of the robbery last month, according to court records.

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- A man has been charged with capital murder in connection with a robbery that left a 71-year-old woman dead outside of a McDonald's last month in east Harris County.

Andrew Williams, 40, is accused of stealing Martha Medina's purse, hitting her with his car and taking off. It happened in the 400 block of Uvalde Road on Sept. 23.

According to records, Williams was out on bond in connection to a previous capital murder charge in 2019. He was also out on bond for an aggravated assault charge in 2019, according to court records.

Medina's family believes her murder could have been avoided if Williams stayed behind bars.

"When I learned he was out on bond for capital murder, it was like, 'What are you thinking? Let's see what happens and give him a chance?' These people don't change and he's proven that," Lourdes Medina, the victim's daughter, said.

According to records, the state filed a motion to deny bond. Bond was denied initially, but later in 2019, Judge Hilary Unger in the 248th District Court set bond to $150,000. Three months later, Williams posted bond.

"In this situation, it makes you doubt who you are voting for," Medina said. "Why are they in office? Are they waiting for it to hit close to home and it's one of their loved ones?"

Records indicate Williams also violated his bond conditions and failed to comply with his ankle monitor.

ABC13 reached out to Judge Unger to ask why bond was not denied.

In an email, Unger said, "The Canons prohibit me from talking about pending matters. But I would direct your attention to the clerk's file in the matter, specifically the public docket sheets on the District Clerk's website whom all can view. Also, direct your attention to the Court of Criminal Procedure and the Texas Constitution (sections regarding bail) which requires me to set a bail."

ABC13 Investigates reached out to our sources who tell us while it's not an easy process, it is certainly possible for defendants accused of capital murder to be denied bond.

Medina's husband describes her as sweet and loving woman who cared for everyone around her.

Her family is hoping to fight for change in the legal system, as they say this could happen to anyone.

SEE RELATED STORY: 'Get a job!' Sheriff Ed Gonzalez exasperated after yet another senseless tragedy

In the video, listen to the blunt message Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez sent to those committing crimes, in the wake of a purse-snatching that led to a woman's killing.